Heroic Ryder Cup captain Colin Montgomerie returns in triumph to his native Scotland this week to play in the 10th Alfred Dunhill Links Championship along with nine other members of his successful European team.
Also in action will be Ross Fisher, Peter Hanson, Padraig Harrington, Martin Kaymer, Graeme McDowell, Edoardo and Francesco Molinari, Rory McIlroy and Lee Westwood.
Scottish golf fans are certain to turn out in their thousands to salute Montgomerie, back on home soil, after leading his side to a thrilling 14½-13½ win against the United States at Celtic Manor to regain the Ryder Cup.
A wonderful reception is guaranteed for all the players and particularly for US Open champion Graeme McDowell, Europe’s anchor-man, who showed nerve and courage to bring home the final point which clinched victory.
McDowell, now one of the most formidable players in world golf, will be hoping to celebrate his Ryder Cup tour-de-force with victory this week at St Andrews, where he lost in a sudden death play-off to Stephen Gallacher in 2004.
In one of the strongest ever line-ups in the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship, the Ryder Cup heroes will be joined by a world-class international field including three-time major champion Ernie Els, double US Open winner Retief Goosen, former US Open champion Michael Campbell, former Open champion Paul Lawrie, defending champion Simon Dyson and flamboyant American golf star John Daly.
The Alfred Dunhill Links Championship, which celebrates links golf at its finest, is played over three of the world’s best known and respected courses – the Old Course at St Andrews, the Championship Course at Carnoustie and the highly regarded Kingsbarns Golf Links.
With a prize fund of US$5 million, the championship incorporates two separate competitions - an individual professional tournament for the world's leading golfers and a team event in which the professionals are paired with some of the most celebrated amateur golfers which creates a unique atmosphere.
Celebrities from the world of entertainment include film and TV stars Matthew Goode, Hugh Grant, Samuel L Jackson, Kyle MacLachlan, James Nesbitt, John O’Hurley and Aidan Quinn. Also taking part are rock music legend Huey Lewis and Michael Flatley, the Irish/American step dancer who created the Riverdance, and popular Radio 2 presenter Chris Evans.
A trio of Britain’s sporting knights – Sir Ian Botham, Sir Bobby Charlton and Sir Steve Redgrave - lead a locker room full of sporting heroes, including Dutch football legends Johann Cruyff and Ruud Gullit, former England player Jamie Redknapp, Chelsea and Italy star Gianfranco Zola and Scottish defender Alan Hansen.
Rugby is represented by All Blacks former captain Sean Fitzpatrick, Scotland’s Gavin Hastings and Argentina’s Hugo Porta, while cricketers Allan Lamb and Michael Vaughan of England and Steve Waugh and Shane Warne of Australia will also be teeing off.
The first Alfred Dunhill Links Championship was staged in 2001, but Alfred Dunhill’s support for golf at St Andrews, through the Alfred Dunhill Cup, an international team championship that took place from 1985 to 2000, goes back 26 years.
Entrance to the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship will be FREE at all three courses on Thursday, Friday and Saturday. A ticket price of £15 (concessionary £10) will be charged for the final day’s play over the Old Course on Sunday, October 10. Entry for under 16s and students is free.
Tickets are available through the ticket hotline on 0870 010 9021 or at the entrance gates. There is free parking for spectators and a free shuttle bus service runs from St Andrews to Kingsbarns and Carnoustie.